Southern Tier Antique Gas & Steam Engine Association

By Staff
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Bouvier engine.
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Crosby B. Sheeley with his Auto Red Bug. Rear fenders are the brakes; they come down on the tires.
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The 1989 row of tractors.

Box 55, Nineveh, New York 13813

On August 25, 26, 27, 1989 the Southern Tier Antique Gas and
Steam Engine Association held their fifteenth annual field day and
reunion at the Maine Village Park, Maine, NY. There are two parts
to the Association. They are the Satellite Club, which is a working
club where members go to each other’s houses to work on engines
and solve their mechanical problems, and the Association itself,
the business end of it.

Every year the club has grown and the village park, with its
nice pavilions and many acres of flat level land, has become too
small for our many exhibits and camper parking. Thus, the club is
in the process of buying land. They have started a fund for such a
purpose. In the near future we hope to have a much larger place
with our own pavilions, club house and a place to work on engines.
We’d even like to grow things to harvest and demonstrate the
way of life years ago.

The 1989 show had many of the old faces and the standby
exhibits. As usual there were many new faces and exhibits, some for
the first time. One first time exhibit was Crosby Sheeley P.O. Box
132, Cottekill, New York 12419, with his recently restored
‘Auto Red Bug’ driven by a Smith motor wheel. Mr. Sheeley
believes that Smith Motor Wheel was a supplier to Briggs and
Stratton.

There were many unusual and scarce tractors. One in particular
was a 1957 Bantam tractor, owned by George Hawn, which was not much
larger than the ones children use in tractor pulls. George rescued
this piece of rusty iron three weeks before the show. Come show
time, it looked like brand new. Ralph Loomis’s Oil Pull made
its fifteenth appearance. The last fourteen years it operated his
shingle mill at the show. This year the shingle mill was idle.
Ralph could not find suitable blocks to make shingles. Logs have
become too expensive to make and give shingles away to
spectators.

We had numerous old cars and trucks. The 1950 Crossley looked
like it came of the showroom floor; the 1928 Chevrolet 1 ton truck
and a 1930 Ford pickup didn’t look bad either. There was a
scale model of a Model T and about a half scale model of a 1903
Cadillac.

Many scarce and unusual engines made an appearance, ranging from
a 40 HP Bouvier to models on display. It seems that every foundry
in the 20’s and 30’s made an engine. Some of these engines
were made locally and never left this section of the country. A
real scarce engine was a washing machine engine made in Germany
with Bosch ignition.

The auction sale was held at 1 o’clock Saturday and lasted
all afternoon. It was supposed to be engine related, but one nice
wagon found its way in. I guess this thing had horsepower too. The
auction had everything from junk to engines in mint condition. One
of the club members recently died and his engines went through the
auction.

The Smiths, who run a restaurant in Whitney Point (a little
village just down the road a whoop and holler), set up in one of
the pavilions and served the usual Friday night banquet with
strawberry shortcake for dessert. It is a favorite dessert of many
club members.

The Maine American Legion had their third chicken barbecue in
the other pavilion. The weather was great and people were buying
chicken faster than they could cook it. They ran out of chicken
Sunday afternoon disappointing a few people. No one was
disappointed Saturday, some people went back more than once. In
fact, one energetic young married man was a glutton. Saturday he
had chicken for breakfast, chicken for dinner, chicken for supper
and when he bedded down for the night had the nerve to ask his wife
for another piece of cold chicken.

Many cakes were devoured that were won in the cake walk. This is
strictly a female affair. The women bake the cakes and donate them.
The money goes to their pet charity or wherever they choose. The
cake walk is nothing more than people sitting down to a large
picnic table with 35 numbered paper plates tacked to it. When each
plate has a dime on it, the winning number is drawn from a box of
numbered ping pong balls.

There was a blacksmith exhibit with two blacksmiths, one of whom
makes weathervanes. Another exhibit was a cider mill owned by Carl
Smith who alternates with his grain grinding mill, and both are
powered by antique engines.

Gloria Driscoll ran the flea market, which in itself is quite a
drawing card and contributes to the club treasury. People find
things they just can’t live without. Some of our women visitors
never got further than the flea market.

The Maine Community Band played many numbers and church services
were held before any engines were started. The show was taped and
shown Saturday night to many people who wanted to see themselves on
TV.

Prizes in the raffle included an engine, a hand-forged
weathervane, and a handmade afghan. Raffle proceeds went into the
fund to buy land.

The 1989 show is history now, but the plans for the 1990 show
are underway. There will not be many changes, just some new faces.
Every year it is held the last weekend in August so as not to
conflict with the other shows in the area.

We wish to thank all of our guests and the general public for
their support. We promise them another nice show next year. We hope
to see new faces to replace those that time takes away.

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